Bike Accidents Lawyer in Michigan.
Michigan may be home to the world’s automotive center, but bicycles have their place on the streets of Michigan’s cities and suburbs too.
Cyclists rely on their bikes for commuting, leisure, and exercise. Millions of adults and children alike get on two wheels every day, and plenty of them wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road. But not everyone protects their head like they should, and not everyone is careful about their biking practices. These facts, compounded with the reality that bicyclists are sharing the road with distracted Michigan drivers, means that bike and auto accidents are a common occurrence. In fact, the greatest number of bike accidents occur when cyclists are struck by cars.
Bicyclists at the Greatest Risk of Being Involved in an Accident
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than the people driving or riding in motor vehicles. Here are just some of the statistics they’ve compiled:
- The highest bicycle death rates are among people 15 to 24 years old and people 45 years and older.
- Nonfatal bike-related injuries are the highest among children, adolescents, and young adults – ages 5 to 24 years – and account for almost 60 percent of all emergency room bicycle-related injuries.
- Males are more likely to be injured or involved in a fatal bicycle crash than females.
- The greatest number of bicycle deaths occur in urban intersections and non-intersection locations.
Causes of Bicycle Injuries and Fatalities
Some very simple precautions can help lessen the number of bicycle injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident.
Even though there is no law in Michigan requiring bicycle riders to wear a helmet, the risk of head and brain injuries is reduced when bike riders – children and adults alike – wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they get on their bicycle.
Likewise, Michigan does not have a law in place barring bicyclists from using a cellphone while operating a bicycle. Common sense should prevail in this situation but it often does not, and can easily lead to a collision with a car or fellow cyclist, or an accident because of carelessness and distraction.
Nighttime or Off-road Bicycle Riding
Choosing to ride your bicycle during daylight hours is more likely to reduce your risk of being involved in a crash with a motor vehicle, as well as being wise about the locations in which you choose to ride. Roads with clearly demarcated bike lines may be more easily traveled than suburban roads. No matter where you choose to ride, safety precautions should include increasing rider visibility with active lighting and reflective clothing, particularly at night.
Cycling While Intoxicated
Some cyclists use poor judgment in getting on their bicycle after drinking, which can just as easily lead to an accident as a drunk driver getting behind the wheel.
The experience level of the cyclist can impact whether or not an accident occurs. Longtime bicycle riders will be far more familiar with the rules of the road as they apply to cyclists and be better equipped to share the road with motorists.
Poor road maintenance – such as potholes and a lack of bike lanes – can contribute to dangerous conditions for Michigan bicyclists.
Safe Cycling Precautions
Michigan cyclists are expected to use caution and exercise safe cycling practices in order to safeguard themselves on Michigan highways. Each of the following provisions is far more detailed, but the basics of cyclist law-abiding safety are as follows:
- Ride your bike reasonably close to the right curb
- Ride no more than two bicycles side by side at any time
- Indicate turns, a decrease in speed, or a stop using designated hand signals
- Yield to pedestrians if riding on the sidewalk
- Equip your bicycle with the appropriate lights for nighttime riding
- Ride only the number of people on a bike that it is equipped to carry
- Do not carry any packages that prevent you from keeping both hands on the handlebars
Obtain legal advice as promptly as possible if you’ve been injured in a Michigan bike accidents because of the negligence of a motor vehicle operator, a defective bicycle product, or unsafe road conditions. Contact David C. Femminineo, a bike accidents lawyer in Michigan, for your initial no-cost consultation to help you get through this traumatic event.